See You Under The Stars

{Images are not mine – sourced from Google and Pinterest}

Today is the last Saturday in March, and as such it is the day recognized worldwide as EARTH HOUR since it began in Sydney, Australia in 2007. It is now one of the most widely recognized environmental awareness events with people and organizations around the globe turning off all non-essential lights between 8:30 and 9:30pm local time.

To me this evening represents how small changes can add up to a big impact. Plus as a birding enthusiast, I’m always delighted to see fewer and fewer skyscraper lights illuminating empty floors and distracting evening migrants. Thank you to businesses and organizations who participate and role-model to others how it’s done! And beyond just today, rather using it as a springboard for change. My family and I will be pleased to display candlelight flickering in windows of our occupied rooms tonight as we darken our home and lower our energy consumption.

Let’s do what we can to lower electrical usage this evening. A couple of years ago my family played board games by candlelight, and last year we went for a long, enjoyable walk. What ideas do you have for an unplugged type of evening? Whatever it may be, do stay safe with burning candles and negotiating yourself in the dark, but do something. It matters more than you may know! Turn off the lights and let our hearts shine with hope. And I’ll see you under the stars.

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

{attributed to Margaret Mead but no source found *Wikiquote* ~ wise words nonetheless}

Give Without Remembering

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” ~Dalai Lama

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” ~Robert A. Heinlein

“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” ~Elizabeth Bibesco

Being Positive

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

His love is deeper

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

-Corrie Ten Boom

[All images sourced from my collection on Pinterest here]

Blessings in Disguise

Perhaps longer than some songs at five minutes this particular gem has been soothing my heart during repeated plays lately. There is nothing quite like beautiful music and a melodious voice talent combined with poetic wisdom to penetrate through the mire and pierce our heart with much-needed light. May this song bring light to your heart as it does for me.

“Blessings” by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
prayer mattersWe pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes
To know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

refreshing rainWhen friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes
to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Laura Mixon Story Elvington (born c. September 5, 1978) is an American contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter from Spartanburg, South Carolina. In June 2011, this first single off the album, also titled “Blessings”, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart, giving Laura Story her first number one hit and making her one of the few female Christian artists to ever reach the top of the singles chart. In an interview, she explains “Blessings is just a bunch of songs about worshipping when life is hard”. Her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and she wondered “Why didn’t you just fix it, God? You’re all powerful and all loving… just fix it.” After mentioning her desire to return to normal, her sister said “You know, I think the detour is actually the road.” She realized that “Spending time with [her husband] Martin obviously makes me happy, but it makes me a better person. That’s the blessing of it.” [source]

Allowing for JOY


“When a sword is tempered, it is first heated to melting point then hammered into a desired shape. It is plunged into cold water. Once cooled it is fired and hammered again until it grows sharp and strong. This tempering makes the sword worthy of being carried by a King. As we learn to endure and surrender to the fire, the hammer, and the cold, we grow strong and uncomplaining. We are able to face whatever comes, holding our temper, while we ourselves we are being tempered.” ~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

LUKE 12:7~ But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

 

These 3 lovely images are not my own; sourced from my “UPLIFTING” Pinterest board

Allowing for Grief

A wonderful post by my dear blogging friend, Eliza Waters, really brought up my unfinished grief over the loss of 3 of my 4 pets recently, all within a six month period. While a tribute post will be shared once I am able to not sob over their photos and even their names, this post is about allowing ourselves time to grieve. When a loss is suffered, no one can say how long it will take or when we’re ‘over it’. To feel tremendous love is to feel grief deeply. This is a part of life, and a component of healing is giving ourselves permission to feel sad. It’s a lesson I’m certainly learning these days. Even the recent season of joy and light was a rough one for me. Normally I put up the tree and my large ceramic Nativity scene as early as December 1st but this year the tree went up on the 20th and the large Nativity never came out of its box, having two smaller one-piece ones around my home subbing in for it. But these seemingly small events meant a lot to me, and showed me how sad my heart still is.

no longer at my side but always in my heartSince it is my own comment, I am trusting Eliza will be fine with my sharing of it here. This is what I wrote to her this morning:

“Eliza, this post made me cry and that’s perfectly alright! Thank you for helping me with my healing through my grief of losing Nikki in September. Sadly we lost Jade, our Abyssinian tabby in May and our gorgeous long-haired Siamese (Ebony) in November, so a very rough 6 months I’m still reeling from. I began to cry as you shared about Ruby, whose sweet face (and coloring!) looks so like my Nikki-girl, and the loneliness on walks… I am SO glad you found Wren (what a great name!) and I hope to be there someday soon, but my heart is still so broken from losing 3 of 4 four-legged children recently. Yes they age, and some battles cannot be won no matter how advanced veterinary medicine is. Anyways, sorry, long comment here! Really just want to say Thank You… so much. For sharing, for adopting a new ‘fur-kid’, and helping me heal a bit more. Love & Light, Gina”

On the bright side, our 17-year old feisty tabby girl ‘Katie’ who was adopted from the pound 15 years ago, is doing her best to help my family and me still get our ‘cat quota’ in. She mostly sticks close to me, but the other day, while on my lap – again – and my husband within ear shot, I told her that she needs to give ‘dad’ some love too, since he’s below ‘quota’. (Our Siamese ‘Ebony’ practically lived on his shoulder, especially in the last few of her 17 years). So that night as we settled in to watch a program together, what did she do but spend the hour in HIS lap! Whatta good girl! He needs his cat-pats too.

Time passes and the healing comes. Achingly slow at first. Then a morning walk without thinking of Nikki for a while (as Eliza shares as well), then a whole day passes without tearing up about how much quieter our house is. So while this morning’s unexpected crying burst reminded me of how the pain is still there, I know it is lessening. It isn’t constant, but rather in scattered moments. Someday, when we’re ready, my husband and I will be ready to begin visiting rescue shelters to find another 4-legged ‘fur-kid’ that Katie can teach the ropes to. Until then, she’s helping us feel loved (and bossed around a bit too!).

Image sources
2 square images at the top are from my Pinterest boards without sources being evident.
The incredible drawing of the crying eye is called ‘Don’t cry to night’ by Omar Gordillo Soto [source]
And the touching pawprint in the clouds is from Facebook/RainbowBridgepetloss [source]